Deeds, McDonnell Clash in Fairfax Debate

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

September 17, 2009

The hour long debate between the gubernatorial candidates wrapped up at noon Thursday at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.

Both Creigh Deeds (D) and Bob McDonnell (R) took turns answering the moderator's questions. They faced David Gregory, the host of NBC's "Meet the Press."

Among the topics were jobs, the economy, federal health care, energy proposals, and the state's transportation crisis. Both Deeds and McDonnell were asked how they expected to fix the Commonwealth's transportation issues, and what they would do to pay for it.

"It's going to create a fund of new money in excess of a billion dollars a year to fund transportation," said Deeds.

"I've outlined detailed plans to create twelve different mechanisms, public and private partnerships, to move money from the general fund. It's a core function of government to use creative ways from off shore drilling to sell off ABC stores," McDonnell responded.

Deeds also said in the debate that he sees "a hint of racism" in some of the opposition to President Barack Obama.

In the second of four gubernatorial race debates against Republican rival Bob McDonnell, Deeds said Thursday that he would hope that the nation is beyond racism.

But when asked by moderator David Gregory of NBC's "Meet The Press," Deeds said he regretted that some of the visceral opposition to the first black president is race-based.

In the first question of the debate, McDonnell was asked about his 1989 college thesis critical of working women, gays and feminists.

And Deeds, in his clearest statement yet on the Democratic cap-and-trade energy bill, said unequivocally he opposes it.

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